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"...gleaming like blackened sunshine."

Yesterday, I wrote 1,662 words on Red Delicious. After dinner, Kathryn and I began reading The Drowning Girl: A Memoir for the Centipede Press edition. In terms of text, the CP edition won't differ dramatically from the Penguin edition. Other than catching typos and such, I'll be rewriting a scene or two, bits I know now I could have done better. There will be about ten thousand additional words of text added to the "Back Pages" section. Mostly, the CP edition is a chance to present the book as a beautifully, lushly illustrated and designed hardback.

It's very strange and more than a little disconcerting, reading the book again. I haven't looked at it since, probably, March 2012. So, a year.

Speaking of hardbacks, the paper quality used for hardback fiction, and much nonfiction, is becoming ever more abysmal. I'm still buying hardbacks, but I've begun to notice that, often, the paper used for trade paperbacks is of a better quality than that in the hardback edition. I'm talking, of course, about the big NYC, etc. publishers, not small/specialty presses. What's the point in binding toilet paper, much less binding it in hardback? Of course, this is all about keeping cover prices down. But soon I suspect it will no longer be cost effective for publishers to release hardcopy versions of novels. Even shitty hardcopies. So, skip straight to ebooks, and they save the expense of materials and printing and warehousing and shipping. Profits go up. This does not, by the way, mean authors will be paid more; they almost certainly won't be. Publishers only have to point out that they sell ebooks for less than hardcopy books. Regardless, this scares me, this scenario that, to me, seems all too likely. Because I have no other way to make a living, and I won't write ebooks.

Okay, well, that's today's happy thought. I should be working, here on this gloomy, ugly winter day.

Remember when people read LiveJournal?

Glitterses and Pinksome Unicorns,
Aunt Beast

P.S.: Also, I began reading Paolo Bacigalupi's The Drowned Cities.

Comments

( 14 comments — Have your say! )
shanejayell
Mar. 14th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC)
I hate ebooks. *lol* I'll keep buying paper as much as I can.

cause_catyljan
Mar. 14th, 2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
Remember when people read LiveJournal?

Yes. Sigh.

greygirlbeast
Mar. 14th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)

Yeah.
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Mar. 14th, 2013 06:43 pm (UTC)

including ebooks.

For me, they will always be vile and hideous things. Dispensable. Transitory. Ugly. Artless.
cause_catyljan
Mar. 14th, 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
On the back of hypertextual renditions of certain works (for example "Node Magazine" in relation to William Gibson's Spook Country), I wonder if the culture of e-books have a potential beyond re-packaging.

Your multimedia for The Drowning Girl is a step on such a path, I feel. Since reading the book (on a Kindle), I've wondered - please excuse the crude example - how it would have enhanced (or sullied) the experience if a hyperlink could have taken the reader to a site hosting several of Abalyn's reviews.

I remember (forgive me if I'm wrong) a somewhat similar project you touted several years ago involving Tales of Pain and Wonder. Could such a thing nudge e-books away from artless?

(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Mar. 14th, 2013 07:09 pm (UTC)

Thanks for going into detail about what you are doing to this version.

You're welcome. I'll keep making updates here as the project progresses.
corucia
Mar. 14th, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)

I'm looking forward to the Centipede Press versions. Hardcovers, yay! I've just started reading the Cornell Woolrich set they put out recently.

Happy Pi Day! (It's a big celebration at my daughter's school.)

kiki60
Mar. 14th, 2013 09:33 pm (UTC)
E-book
My favorite movie as a teenager was "Night of the Iguana". Ted Turner obtained the rights to the movie and edited it, which was really just hack censor job. The same is happening to E-books. George Orwells "1984" was removed from American E-readers without permission because of an copyright dispute. Every time you connect up to Wifi with an e-readers someone has control of its content, but not you. Not only do they censor and erase content, but they know what your reading. I love E-books too.
sovay
Mar. 15th, 2013 05:54 am (UTC)
There will be about ten thousand additional words of text added to the "Back Pages" section.

Are you re-including Albert Perrault?
dipsomaniac
Mar. 15th, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
Didn't books used to come out in hardback first and if you couldn't afford it you had to wait around for the paperback? Now, I wish they were all hardback.
Julian Morrison
Mar. 15th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
Is it bad that I currently only own TDG:AM on kindle, and I mostly read it on my phone? And yet it is one of my more re-read books, and I plan to buy this new paper one, just for the pretty.
jenjen4280
Mar. 15th, 2013 07:25 pm (UTC)
Print books will become a specialty market when ebooks become the norm and the price of the those print books will probably put them beyond the reach of the average reader.

Until then, I'll keep supporting print.

Another fatality of ebooks will be libraries.

Julian Morrison
Mar. 15th, 2013 08:48 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, the price of print-on-demand will come down. So if you want paper, that's probably how it will work. You buy the paper version, Amazon prints it for you.
( 14 comments — Have your say! )